Newest Virtual Reality Experience From peta2 Promises Close Encounters at UNC–Greensboro

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Greensboro, N.C

To encourage empathy for animals suffering in university laboratories, peta2—part of PETA’s youth division—is visiting the University of North Carolina–Greensboro tomorrow with Abduction, a unique virtual reality experience landing on college campuses across the country. In this eerie experience, visitors will enter a mysterious truck containing a mobile virtual reality studio. The students will seemingly find themselves stranded in the desert with a couple of fellow humans, abducted by aliens, taken aboard a spaceship, and subjected to a shocking ordeal similar to what animals endure in laboratories. They’ll watch as their friends endure painful tests—knowing that they’ll be next.

When:      Monday, February 12, and Tuesday, February 13, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where:     Outside the Alumni House, 404 College Ave., UNC–Greensboro. (See the map here.)

Text reads: Abduction arriving at a campus near you this spring

Watch the Abduction trailer here. Broadcast-quality footage of this virtual reality experience is available upon request.

Among the many curiosity-driven tests on animals conducted at UNC campuses, experimenters at UNC–Greensboro have fed mice a high-fat junk food diet for 16 weeks, ostensibly to study mobility, and then killed them. Other experimenters have injected tumor cells into mice and forced them to run on treadmills—at high speeds and steep inclines for up to an hour a day for five days a week. Some tumors ballooned to a quarter of the animal’s body size. At the end of the study, all the surviving mice were killed and dissected.

“Many students don’t know that on their college campuses, frightened and confused animals are being psychologically tormented, mutilated, and killed in laboratories with no way to escape or even understand what’s happening to them,” says peta2 Senior Director Rachelle Owen. “peta2 is on a mission to open young people’s eyes to this cruelty, help students understand what it feels like, and motivate them to join our call for a switch to superior, non-animal research.”

Studies show that 90% of all basic research—most of which involves animals—fails to lead to treatments for humans, which is why peta2 is pushing universities to pivot to sophisticated, human-relevant research methods.

Abduction—which was filmed in VR180 with assistance from the immersive content creation studio Prosper XR—has stopped at nearly 50 other college campuses over the past year, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California–Los Angeles, and the University of Texas–Austin. Abduction has won Gold and Audience honors from the 2023 Shorty Impact Awards.

peta2—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—helps young people make meaningful changes for animals in their everyday lives. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TikTok or Instagram.

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